50

Tennessee1987

Record 28–6 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

50

50 Tennessee1987

Record 28–6 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Yes, this was Pat Summitt’s first championship, but it didn’t have the hallmark dominance or reputation that she would be known for later. Tennessee was actually ranked seventh in the country, underdog in each of its final three wins to capture the national title, capping it with a 67-44 win over Louisiana Tech. Tonya Edwards earned Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. And Summitt, at the postgame, said it simply: “I’m a dreamer, and I’m also a believer.” She never looked back.

Roster · Tonya Edwards · Sheila Frost · Bridgette Gordon · Karla Horton · Cheryl Littlejohn · Dawn Marsh · Melissa McCray · Carla McGhee · Sabrina Mott · Shelley Sexton · Kathy Spinks · Gay Townson · Jennifer Tuggle · Lisa Webb ·

Versatility Index: 65

↪ Back

49

UConn2004

Record 31-4 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

49

49 UConn2004

Record 31-4 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

A year later, it happened again. It’s about as simple as Geno Auriemma’s explanation, after a 70-61 win over Tennessee in yet another title matchup between the schools: “We have Diana Taurasi and you don’t.”

Roster · Ashley Battle · Maria Conlon · Willnett Crockett · Stacey Marron · Jessica Moore · Ann Strother · Diana Taurasi · Barbara Turner · Ashley Valley · Morgan Valley · Nicole Wolff ·

Versatility Index: 90

↪ Back

48

Tennessee1989

Record 35–2 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

48

48 Tennessee1989

Record 35–2 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Pat Summit’s star this time was Bridgette Gordon, who scored 24 in the semifinal win over Maryland, then 27 to help beat Auburn and the great Vickie Orr, 76-60. Dena Head added 15 in the win, capping a title run despite the loss of Tonya Edwards earlier in the season to a knee injury. Just the same, Auburn coach Joe Ciampi put it about the Lady Vols, “That is a Who’s Who roster.”

Roster · Kelli Casteel · Daedra Charles · Regina Clark · Kris Durham · Tonya Edwards · Sheila Frost · Bridgette Gordon · Debbie Hawhee · Dena Head · Melissa McCray · Carla McGhee · Pearl Moore · Debbie Scott ·

Versatility Index: 71

↪ Back

47

UConn2003

Record 37-1 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

47

47 UConn2003

Record 37-1 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

This is a team that lost four starters from the 2002 group near the top of this list, but they made it all the way back to the top on the back of the one starter who remained: Diana Taurasi. She scored 28 points in a 73-68 win over Tennessee in the title game, simply unwilling to let her team lose.

Roster · Ashley Battle · Maria Conlon · Willnett Crockett · Stacey Marron · Jessica Moore · Ann Strother · Diana Taurasi · Barbara Turner · Ashley Valley · Morgan Valley · Nicole Wolff ·

Versatility Index: 91

↪ Back

46

Tennessee1996

Record 32–4 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

46

46 Tennessee1996

Record 32–4 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Revenge is a dish best served at the Charlotte Coliseum, where Tennessee and Michelle Marciniak, the future WNBA point guard, won Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. They took down UConn and Nykesha Sales, 88-83, in a semifinal thriller, then outlasted Georgia and all-world guard Saudia Roundtree, 83-65, in another textbook defensive effort. UConn staked a claim in 1995. Tennessee countered, letting the Huskies know they weren’t going anywhere.

Roster · Abby Conklin · Latina Davis · Misty Greene · Chamique Holdsclaw · Tiffani Johnson · Kellie Jolly · Brynae Laxton · Michelle Marciniak · Laurie Milligan · Kim Smallwood · Pashen Thompson ·

Versatility Index: 72

↪ Back

45

UConn2013

Record 35-4 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

45

45 UConn2013

Record 35-4 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

Baby Stewie! This was the one that set the prophecy in motion. This was the one where Breanna Stewart, the top-rated player in the country and generally understood program-changer, who struggled for a bit during her freshman season, briefly providing basically the only proof she might be human during her entire college or pro career, led UConn to a 93-60 title game win over Louisville. She declared she’d like three more just like that one, and then she got them.

Roster · Brianna Banks · Heather Buck · Stefanie Dolson · Caroline Doty · Kelly Faris · Bria Hartley · Moriah Jefferson • Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis · Breanna Stewart · Kiah Stokes · Morgan Tuck ·

Versatility Index: 92

↪ Back

44

Old Dominion1985

Record 31-3 ⋅ Coach Marianne Stanley

How they got here →

44

44 Old Dominion1985

Record 31-3 Coach Marianne Stanley Champ Yes

Hey, shocker! Here’s Marianne Stanley again on this list. This time, she had a pair of bigs who dominated the boards, 6-2 Tracy Claxton and 6-3 Medina Dixon. The formula was the same, and it stayed true to form right through the end, Claxton grabbing 20 rebounds and Dixon getting 15 in the title game win over Katrina McClain and Teresa Edwards’ Georgia team.

Roster · Joann Beaty · Lisa Blais · Marie Christian · Tracy Claxton · Liz Conahan · Dawn Cullen · Medina Dixon · Adrienne Goodson · Bridget Jenkins · Alphelia Jenkins · Donna Harrington ·

Versatility Index: 74

↪ Back

43

USC1983

Record 31-2 ⋅ Coach Linda Sharp

How they got here →

43

43 USC1983

Record 31-2 Coach Linda Sharp Champ Yes

It’s funny to see this team here, but they did, after all, only have freshman Cheryl Miller, a younger Cynthia Cooper, you know—less than the players they’d become for USC teams higher on this list. Even so, it was enough to beat Jennifer White’s Louisiana Tech team, with Miller scoring 27 points and playing all 40 minutes in the title game. She was 18 years old at the time. Kim Mulkey had 11 assists in defeat.

Roster · JaMaiia Bond · Cynthia Cooper · Kathy Doyle · Yolanda Fletcher · Tracy Longo · Pam McGee · Paula McGee • Cheryl Miller · Timi Pitzer · Juliette Robinson · LeAnne Sera · Shontel Sherwood · Melissa Ward · Rhonda Windham ·

Versatility Index: 99

↪ Back

42

Tennessee2007

Record 34–3 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

42

42 Tennessee2007

Record 34–3 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Another Candace Parker-centric Tennessee title team, this time a winner over C. Vivian Stringer’s Rutgers squad, 59-46, in the title game, no easy task with Kia Vaughn patrolling the middle. But the Lady Vols ended Summitt’s nine-year championship-less streak, a thing that only seems surprising because we’re talking about Pat Summitt. Parker scored 17 in the championship game.

Roster · Nicky Anosike · Alberta Auguste · Shannon Bobbitt · Elizabeth Curry · Alex Fuller · Alexis Hornbuckle · Cait McMahan · Nicci Moats · Candace Parker · Dominique Redding · Sidney Spencer ·

Versatility Index: 98

↪ Back

41

UConn2014

Record 40-0 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

41

41 UConn2014

Record 40-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

Much of the greatness in the teams that followed was present here, from the sophomore trio of Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck to junior big Kiah Stokes. But so was Stefanie Dolson, the Port Jervis, NY, product, who combined an outsized personality with a versatile offensive game to become the face of these champions, 79-58 winners over Notre Dame in the title game.

Roster · Brianna Banks · Saniya Chong · Stefanie Dolson · Bria Hartley · Moriah Jefferson · Tierney Lawlor · Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis · Briana Pulido · Breanna Stewart · Kiah Stokes · Morgan Tuck ·

Versatility Index: 94

↪ Back

40

Louisana Tech1981

Record 34-0 ⋅ Coach Sonja Hogg

How they got here →

40

40 Louisana Tech1981

Record 34-0 Coach Sonja Hogg Champ Yes

No, this team didn’t feature Pam Gant, freshman sensation on the 1982 Lady Techsters who won the first NCAA women’s tournament, but they were pretty good, too: 34-0, ran through the AIAW tournament, and crushed Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols, 79-59, in the title game. A young point guard named Kim Mulkey ran the show. Jennifer White was unstoppable. They could play with anyone.

Roster · Lyn Anastasio · Pam Kelly · Janice Lawrence · Kim Mulkey · Ann Pendegrass · Debbie Primeaux · Debra Rodman · Rita Rust · Lori Scott · Tia Sossamon · Angela Turner · Julie Wilkerson · Jennifer White ·

Versatility Index: 95

↪ Back

39

Delta State1975

Record 28-0 ⋅ Coach Margaret Wade

How they got here →

39

39 Delta State1975

Record 28-0 Coach Margaret Wade Champ Yes

Yes, this should be about Delta State, who finally broke through and ended Immaculata’s run of three straight titles. But it’s worth noting how high Delta State needed to raise its game to get there. Lusia Harris had to score 32 points! Delta State had to shoot 64 percent from the field. And still, the game was tight late, before Delta State pulled away, 90-81. We were pretty close to four Immaculata teams on this list.

Roster · Debbie Brock · Donna Conner · Dianne Dove · Angel Fortenberry · Mandy Fortenberry · Wanda Hairston · Lucy Harris · Ann Logue · Mary Logue · Laura Beth Penn · Pam Piazza · Melissa Thames · Beth Trussell · Ramona Von Boeckman · Mimi Williams ·

Versatility Index: 70

↪ Back

38

Tennessee1991

Record 30–5 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

38

38 Tennessee1991

Record 30–5 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

A title that included a final game with everything you could ask for, from a battle of stars—Dena Head of Tennessee scored 28 to match Virginia’s exemplar guard, Dawn Staley, who had 28 of her own—and a late-game comeback that saw a Pat Summitt team find another level offensively and execute in key spots to secure a game that went into overtime. “This one is sweet because of this team and its attitude,” Summit said when it was over.

Roster · Jody Adams · Regina Clark · Dena Head · Marlene Jeter · Peggy Evans · Lisa Harrison · Daedra Charles · Nikki Caldwell · Kelli Casteel · Tamara Carver · Debbie Hawhee ·

Versatility Index: 62

↪ Back

37

Stanford1992

Record 30-3 ⋅ Coach Tara VanDerveer

How they got here →

37

37 Stanford1992

Record 30-3 Coach Tara VanDerveer Champ Yes

Somehow, this was the last Tara VanDerveer national championship team, though Tara’s won plenty of other games since and has been a fixture atop the Pac-12 and in the Final Four. But a Cardinal team with Rachel Hemmer—6-3 freshman who scored 18 points and grabbed 15 boards—defeated Western Kentucky in the national final, 78-62. When it was over, Tara got a Gatorade shower from her players.

Roster · Ann Adkins · Kelly Dougherty · Molly Goodenbour · Christy Hedgpeth · Rachel Hemmer · Anita Kaplan · Bobbie Kelsey · Chris MacMurdo · Kate Paye · Tanda Rucker · Niki Sevillian · Angela Taylor · Val Whiting ·

Versatility Index: 64

↪ Back

36

Immaculata1972

Record 24-1 ⋅ Coach Cathy Rush

How they got here →

36

36 Immaculata1972

Record 24-1 Coach Cathy Rush Champ Yes

Where it all began. The first champion in the AIAW tournament beat West Chester State, 52-48. Theresa Shank, Immaculata’s center, led the way in the first of her three first-team All-America seasons. You probably know her better as Theresa Grentz, the woman who’d go on to earn 671 victories coaching St. Joe’s, Rutgers, Illinois and Lafayette.

Roster · Denise Conway · Sue Forsyth · Betty Ann Hoffman · Judy Marra · Maureen Mooney · Rene Muth · Pat Opila · Janet Ruch · Theresa Shank · Maureen Stuhlman · Janet Young ·

Versatility Index: 71

↪ Back

35

Texas A&M2011

Record 33–5 ⋅ Coach Gary Blair

How they got here →

35

35 Texas A&M2011

Record 33–5 Coach Gary Blair Champ Yes

The story of this Aggies team will forever be Gary Blair’s defense, designed by his assistant and future coaching superstar Vic Schaefer and run by floor general Syd Colson. But let’s talk for a minute about Danielle Adams, who is unlike anyone we’ve ever seen in the sport. Just 6-1 at center, wide-bodied and skilled, Adams scored 22 of her 30 points in the national championship in the second half, overcoming a Notre Dame team powered by Skylar Diggins and Dev Peters, future WNBA stars both. This was not a team enough people remember.

Roster · Danielle Adams · Kelsey Assarian · Maryann Baker · Kristi Bellock · Kelsey Bone · Sydney Carter · Skylar Collins · Sydney Colson · Adaora Elonu · Karla Gilbert · Kristen Grant · Adrienne Pratcher · Catherine Snow · Tyra White · Cierra Windham ·

Versatility Index: 77

↪ Back

34

UConn2010

Record 39-0 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

34

34 UConn2010

Record 39-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

Tina Charles’ final game with UConn almost went disastrously, the Huskies trailing Nneka Ogwumike’s Stanford team in the first half, a second straight unbeaten season on the line. But back before she was raining justice down on our broken system, Maya Moore got victories in a different court, and this was no different, scoring 23 and grabbing 11 boards in the Alamodome to make sure her team won back-to-back titles.

Roster · Heather Buck · Tina Charles · Lorin Dixon · Caroline Doty · Kelly Faris · Jacquie Fernandes · Meghan Gardler · Kalana Greene · Tiffany Hayes · Kaili McLaren · Maya Moore ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

33

Purdue1999

Record 34-1 ⋅ Coach Carolyn Peck

How they got here →

33

33 Purdue1999

Record 34-1 Coach Carolyn Peck Champ Yes

Third was an elite team, with Stephanie White and Katie Douglas. But this one belongs to Carolyn Peck. When the Boilermakers won the final in ’99, not only did they make school history by winning their first title, Peck herself made history as the first Black head coach to win a women’s NCAA championship. She cut down the net. She gave a piece of it, years later, to Dawn Staley. And when Dawn won with South Carolina in 2017, that net was in her pocket, and she took it out and showed it to us in the media postgame.

Roster · Danielle Campbell · Camille Cooper · Candi CrawforD · Mackenzie Curless · Katie Douglas · Michelle Duhart · Ukari Figgs · Kelly Komara · Mo-nique Langston · Connie Murdock · Mary Jo Noon · Shayla Potter · Amy Shaffer · Stephanie White · Tiffany Young ·

Versatility Index: 91

↪ Back

32

Tennessee1997

Record 29–10 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

32

32 Tennessee1997

Record 29–10 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

It’s funny to think of a Pat Summitt-Tennessee team as underachieving, but this one probably was for most of the year. Despite Chamique Holdsclaw leading the scoring charge and Kellie Jolly running point, they lost two straight to Georgia and Stanford in December, then two straight to UConn and ODU in January. But by March, Summitt had them rolling, and in the final, the Lady Vols avenged the ODU loss, with Jolly racking up 11 assists and Holdsclaw scoring 24. It all worked out OK.

Roster · Niya Butts · Abby Conklin · Kyra Elzy · Misty Greene · Chamique Holdsclaw · Tiffani Johnson · Kellie Jolly · Brynae Laxton · Laurie Milligan · LaShonda Stephens · Pashen Thompson ·

Versatility Index: 68

↪ Back

31

Delta State1976

Record 33-1 ⋅ Coach Margaret Wade

How they got here →

31

31 Delta State1976

Record 33-1 Coach Margaret Wade Champ Yes

Again, Lusia Harris was a dominant force, averaging 31.2 points per game this season, and Delta State managed to beat an Immaculata team that was very much a power. But let’s not forget about folks like Wanda Hairston, team captain and rebounder extraordinaire, and point guard Ramona Von Boeckman, the team’s assist leader. Oh, did we mention Debbie Brock was only 4-11?

Roster · Lynn Adubato · Debbie Brock · Jackie Caston · Judy Davis · Janie Evans · Tish Fahey · Mandy Fortenberry · SheriHaynes · Wanda Hairston · Lusia Harris · Kathy Lewis · Mary Logue · Pam Piazza · Virginia Shackelford · Cornelia Ward · Ramona Von Boeckman ·

Versatility Index: 72

↪ Back

30

UConn2009

Record 39-0 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

30

30 UConn2009

Record 39-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

A perfect season was capped by destroying Louisville, 76-54, despite all-world Angel McCoughtry’s presence on the Cardinals. That’s what happens when you have Tina Charles, who scored 25 in the final on 13 shot attempts, along with senior guard Renee Montgomery and forward Maya Moore, the former a future standout in the WNBA, the latter the circuit’s defining star for much of the ensuing decade.

Roster · Heather Buck · Tina Charles · Lorin Dixon · Caroline Doty · Jacquie Fernandes · Meghan Gardler · Kalana Greene · Tiffany Hayes · Cassie Kerns · Jessica McCormack · Kaili McLaren · Maya Moore · Renee Montgomery · Tahirah Williams ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

29

Immaculata1973

Record 20-0 ⋅ Coach Cathy Rush

How they got here →

29

29 Immaculata1973

Record 20-0 Coach Cathy Rush Champ Yes

This was Cathy Rush’s second straight title-winning team, and they did it with style: a 20-0 season, the first women’s undefeated team, capped by beating Queens College in Queens, 59-52, to capture the AIAW title. Rush, we should note, earned $450 a season to coach Immaculata and put women’s basketball on its path to glory today. Here’s hoping her point guard, Marianne Stanley, makes a lot more than that coaching the Indiana Fever today.

Roster · Denise Conway · Marianne Crawford · Betty Ann Hoffman · Nancy Johnston · Judy Marra · Maureen Mooney · Rene Muth · Janet Ruch · Theresa Shank · Maureen Stulhman · Janet Young ·

Versatility Index: 76

↪ Back

28

UConn2000

Record 36-1 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

28

28 UConn2000

Record 36-1 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

A title capped one of the finest seasons anyone could ever remember, including three, yes three, UConn-Tennessee matchups. The Lady Vols won in Storrs after the Huskies won in Knoxville, and the rubber match in the national title game went to UConn, 71-52, behind a Kelly Schumacher-powered defensive shutdown, 15 points from Shea Ralph and a limiting of national Player of the Year Tamika Catchings to just 16 points.

Roster · Svetlana Abrosimova · Sue Bird · Swin Cash · Marci Czel · Stacy Hansmeyer · Kennitra Johnson · Asjha Jones · Shea Ralph · Christine Rigby · Paige Sauer · Kelly Schumacher · Keirsten Walters · Tamika Williams ·

Versatility Index: 99

↪ Back

27

Old Dominion1979

Record 35-1 ⋅ Coach Marianne Stanley

How they got here →

27

27 Old Dominion1979

Record 35-1 Coach Marianne Stanley Champ Yes

No, this team didn’t have Anne Donovan yet, but they were still pretty good! ODU finished 35-1 by beating a Louisiana Tech team that had scored 102 points against a Pat Summitt defense in the AIAW semifinals. ODU, powered by Nancy Lieberman and Inge Nissen, prevailed and avenged a December loss. So for those of you keeping score at home, Marianne Stanley’s team was already great, then added a once-in-a-generation player in Anne Donovan. Such was the greatness of Nancy Lieberman.

Roster · Sue Brown · Sandy Burke · Beth Campbell · Fran Clemente · Angela Cotman · Chris Critelli · Sue Davy · Linda Jerome · Nancy Lieberman · Inge Nissen · Debbie Richard · Susan Richardson · Rhonda Rompola · Jan Trombly ·

Versatility Index: 65

↪ Back

26

UConn2015

Record 38-1 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

26

26 UConn2015

Record 38-1 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

The only time this group was seriously challenged was in the 2015 title game. Notre Dame kept it close but the Huskies won, 63-53. This was a similar but not identical team to the ’16 group at the top of our list. The constant? Breanna Stewart, naturally.

Roster · Natalie Butler · Saniya Chong · Courtney Ekmark · Moriah Jefferson · Tierney Lawlor · Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis · Kia Nurse · Briana Pulido · Breanna Stewart · Kiah Stokes · Morgan Tuck · Gabby Williams ·

Versatility Index: 95

↪ Back

25

Baylor2005

Record 33–3 ⋅ Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson

How they got here →

25

25 Baylor2005

Record 33–3 Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson Champ Yes

The breakthrough title for Baylor, Kim Mulkey-Robertson’s first as head coach, came thanks in large part to the greatness of Sophia Young, a next-generation wing who scored 26 points in the title game, an 84-62 thumping of Joanne McCallie’s Michigan State team. But in true Mulkey fashion, that dominance manifested itself most on the boards, a 45-22 edge, and a forerunner of the Baylor teams we’ve seen since.

Roster · Tiffanie Blackmon · Steffanie Blackmon · Jordan Davis · Chanelle Fox · Melanie Hamerly · Monique Jones · Victoria Jones · Emily Niemann · Chisa Ononiwu · Chameka Scott · Angela Tisdale · Abiola Wabara · Chelsea Whitaker · LaToya Wyatt · Sophia Young ·

Versatility Index: 73

↪ Back

24

Tennessee2008

Record 36–2 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

24

24 Tennessee2008

Record 36–2 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Pat Summit’s eighth and final Lady Vols championship came on the back of Candace Parker, the ultimate Tennessee player. Parker played through an injured left shoulder but was unstoppable in a rout of Stanford, 64-48, scoring 17 and grabbing 9 rebounds. She’d win Rookie of the Year and MVP honors later that year in her first WNBA season. The Lady Vols playing trademark Summitt defense to the end.

Roster · Nicky Anosike · Alberta Auguste · Vicki Baugh · Angie Bjorklund · Shannon Bobbitt · Kelley Cain · Alex Fuller · Alexis Hornbuckle · Cait McMahan · Candace Parker · Sydney Smallbone ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

23

Louisiana Tech1982

Record 35-1 ⋅ Coach Sonja Hogg

How they got here →

23

23 Louisiana Tech1982

Record 35-1 Coach Sonja Hogg Champ Yes

In this first women’s NCAA title game, C. Vivian Stringer’s Cheyney State couldn’t match up with the Lady Techsters, and no wonder. Louisiana Tech’s point guard was a dynamo named Kim Mulkey, who has gone on to the top of the sport as Baylor coach to this day. And the team’s engine was a powerhouse rebounder named Debra Rodman, who possessed a similar, if not more refined game, than the one that turned her little brother Dennis into an NBA stalwart.

Roster · Sandra Felton · Pam Gant · Pam Kelly · Janice Lawrence · Kim Mulkey · Ann Pendergrass · Debbie Primeaux · Debra Rodman · Rita Rust · Lori Scott · Tia Sossamon · Angela Turner · Julie Wilkerson · Jennifer White ·

Versatility Index: 80

↪ Back

22

North Carolina1994

Record 32-2 ⋅ Coach Sylvia Hatchell

How they got here →

22

22 North Carolina1994

Record 32-2 Coach Sylvia Hatchell Champ Yes

Charlotte Smith. That’s a name that will be etched into history, not just because she went on to a distinguished professional career, then into coaching, currently in charge at Elon. It’s because the ball found Smith in the final second of the title game against Louisiana Tech, and Smith knocked down a 20-footer to give the Tar Heels the victory. Number 23—for her mom, not Michael Jordan—came through with one of the biggest shots in the history of the sport.

Roster · Tonya Cooper · Sylvia Crawley · Lori Gear · Gwendolyn Gillingham · Marion Jones · Tonya Jackson · Marion Jones · Stephanie Lawrence · Carrie McKee · Kim Rouse · Tonya Sampson · Charlotte Smith · Jill Suddreth · Maja Vukojicic ·

Versatility Index: 70

↪ Back

21

Stanford1990

Record 32-1 ⋅ Coach Tara VanDerveer

How they got here →

21

21 Stanford1990

Record 32-1 Coach Tara VanDerveer Champ Yes

The climb was quick for Tara VanDerveer. She took her program to the Sweet 16 in her third season, the Elite Eight in her fourth, and in her fifth, to her first national title, beating Dawn Staley’s Virginia in the semifinals and then toppling Auburn in the final, 88-81. This Cardinal team featured possibly the greatest player in program history, Jennifer Azzi, who scored 17 in the final and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Roster · Jennifer Azzi · Molly Goodenbour · Sonja Henning · Celeste Lavoie · Chris MacMurdo · Stacy Parson · Martha Richards · Katy Steding · Trisha Stevens · Tammy Svoboda · Val Whiting · Julie Zeilstra ·

Versatility Index: 72

↪ Back

20

Maryland2006

Record 34-4 ⋅ Coach Brenda Frese

How they got here →

20

20 Maryland2006

Record 34-4 Coach Brenda Frese

Here’s what Brenda Frese does: she recruits elite playmakers to College Park, she empowers them early on—no paying of dues necessary, if you can play, you play—and she lets them take powerful roles and lead Maryland to glory. In 2006, that was Kristi Toliver, who hit a three at the end of regulation in the title game against Duke; it’s known in Maryland as “The Shot.”

Roster · Charmaine Carr · Marissa Coleman · Shay Doron · Kalika France · Laura Harper · Crystal Langhorne · Christie Marrone · Ashleigh Newman · Aurelie Noirez · Jade Perry · Angel Ross · Kristi Toliver · Sa’De Wiley-Gatewood ·

Versatility Index: 89

↪ Back

19

Notre Dame2001

Record 34-2 ⋅ Coach Muffet McGraw

How they got here →

19

19 Notre Dame2001

Record 34-2 Coach Muffet McGraw Champ Yes

The bookend to her 2018 team, Muffet McGraw won her first title in 2001 with a similar combination of grit and stacked talent, complete with a late comeback. Indiana native Ruth Riley stayed home, powered the Irish attack inside and hit the game-winning free throws in the 68-66 national final win over fellow in-state school Purdue. She was joined in the starting lineup by point guard Niele Ivey and shooter extraordinare Alicia Ratay.

Roster · Amanda Barksdale · Imani Dunbar · Ericka Haney · Monique Hernandez · Niele Ivey · Jeneka Joyce · Meaghan Leahy · Alicia Ratay · Ruth Riley · Le’Tania Severe · Kelley Siemon · Karen Swanson ·

Versatility Index: 79

↪ Back

18

Louisiana Tech1988

Record 32-2 ⋅ Coach Leon Barmore

How they got here →

18

18 Louisiana Tech1988

Record 32-2 Coach Leon Barmore Champ Yes

A champion led by a transcendent floor general, the Lady Techsters beat Auburn, 56-54, in an extremely Teresa Weatherspoon game. She was a scorer and a distributor, for sure, but her bread and butter was defense. She didn’t have to do it alone, either; Erica Westbrooks scored 25, adding 7 boards, 6 steals and 4 blocks, en route to winning Final Four MOP.

Roster · Tatia Brown · Melinda Chambless · Phoebe Dunn · Sheila Ethridge · Lisa Harvey · Venus Lacy · Angela Lawson · Nora Lewis · Beanie Lincoln · Terri Meyer · Paulette Stall · Jocelyn Watson · Teresa Weatherspoon · Erica Westbrooks ·

Versatility Index: 83

↪ Back

17

Oregon2020

Record 31-2 ⋅ Coach Kelly Graves

How they got here →

17

17 Oregon2020

Record 31-2 Coach Kelly Graves

No, this team didn’t win an NCAA championship, but ask any of them, and they’ll tell you they are certain they would have. It’s hard to argue: Sabrina Ionescu came back to school because she wanted to win one. She was joined by Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally. They went to Storrs and crushed UConn. They would have had a No. 1 seed, and a path to the Final Four that didn’t take them out of the state of Oregon. Damn you, COVID.

Roster · Erin Boley · Taylor Chavez · Lucy Cochrane · Lydia Giomi · Ruthy Hebard · Sabrina Ionescu · Sedona Prince · Minyon Moore · Nyara Sabally · Satou Sabally · Jaz Shelley · Holly Winterburn · Morgan Yaeger ·

Versatility Index: 98

↪ Back

16

Rutgers1982

Record 25-7 ⋅ Coach Theresa Grentz

How they got here →

16

16 Rutgers1982

Record 25-7 Coach Theresa Grentz Champ Yes

This is another trailblazing team, both for what it accomplished—an 83-77 win over the favored Texas Longhorns at the Palestra—and how many of its players went on to define the game as coaches. Patty Coyle was the star of the final, scoring 30 in the title game, while June Olkowski was unstoppable. But the coach, Theresa Grentz, is familiar—she played on the great Immaculata teams a decade earlier. And the rough-and-tumble forward, Chris Dailey, has been Geno’s top assistant at UConn for decades.

Roster · Krystal Canady · Mary Coyle · Patty Coyle · Chris Dailey · Patty Delehanty · Terry Dorner · Carol Glutz • Jennie Hall · Lorrie Lawrence · Mary Patricia Nespoli · June Olkowski · Debbie Paladino · Cynthia Powell ·

Versatility Index: 68

↪ Back

15

South Carolina2017

Record 33-4 ⋅ Coach Dawn Stalely

How they got here →

15

15 South Carolina2017

Record 33-4 Coach Dawn Stalely Champ Yes

In the lead-up to the tournament, the Gamecocks lost one of their two bigs, future WNBA lottery pick Alaina Coates, to injury. On the fly, coach Dawn Staley had to reconfigure her team’s offense. It helped that she had A’ja Wilson. But this South Carolina team found another gear from beyond the arc, exuded the Bronx toughness of its point guard Bianca Cuevas-Moore, and beat a Mississippi State team that had just ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak in the title game.

Roster · Araion Bradshaw · Doniyah Cliney · Alaina Coates · Bianca Cuevas-Moore · Kaela Davis · Tiffany Davis · Allisha Gray · Mikiah Herbert Harrigan · Tyasha Harris · Alexis Jennings · Victoria Patrick · A’ja Wilson ·

Versatility Index: 93

↪ Back

14

UConn1995

Record 35-0 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

14

14 UConn1995

Record 35-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

This is where it all began, the team that set the UConn standard, for winning (35-0), for capturing the attention of a nation, for maximizing the talent on hand. Geno Auriemma won the first of his 11 titles here, and he had his star, the 6-4 Rebecca Lobo in the middle, with Jen Rizzotti making key plays in the backcourt and Jamelle Elliott serving as defensive stopper.

Roster · Carla Berube · Kim Better · Jamelle Elliott · Jill Gelfenbien · Kelley Hunt · Rebecca Lobo · Brenda Marquis · Sara Northway · Jennifer Rizzotti · Missy Rose · Nykesha Sales · Pam Webber · Kara Wolters ·

Versatility Index: 87

↪ Back

13

Texas Tech1993

Record 31–3 ⋅ Coach Marsha Sharp

How they got here →

13

13 Texas Tech1993

Record 31–3 Coach Marsha Sharp Champ Yes

This is simple: Sheryl Swoopes. Before she was a WNBA icon, she was the reason Texas Tech were NCAA champions. They faced a heavily favored Ohio State team, powered by future WNBA legend Katie Smith, who scored 28 in the championship game. Didn’t matter. Swoopes scored 47. 47! Texas Tech won by 2. When it was over, Ohio State coach Nancy Darsch put it this way: “You don’t really appreciate Sheryl Swoopes until you try and stop her.”

Roster · Michi Atkins · Cynthia Clinger · Janice Farris · Nikki Heath · Noel Johnson · Diana Kersey · Krista Kirkland · Kim Pruitt · Stephanie Scott · Sheryl Swoopes · Michelle Thomas · Melinda White ·

Versatility Index: 81

↪ Back

12

Delta State1977

Record 32-3 ⋅ Coach Margaret Wade

How they got here →

12

12 Delta State1977

Record 32-3 Coach Margaret Wade Champ Yes

Margaret Wade’s juggernaut took over, winning AIAW national titles in 1975, 1976 and 1977, powered by the immovable Lusia Harris, a 6-3 wonder up front, and the orchestration of point guard Debbie Brock. Harris is in the Naismith Hall of Fame now, and even got drafted by the then-New Orleans Jazz, though she declined to try out on account of her pregnancy. Who knows what her professional career would have been if the WNBA had come along a few decades earlier.

Roster · Lynn Adubato · Debbie Brock · Jackie Caston · Janie Evans · Tish Fahey · Wanda Hairston · Lauri Anne Harper · Lusia Harris · Jill Rhodes · Ramona Von Boeckman · Cornelia Ward · Melissa Ward ·

Versatility Index: 76

↪ Back

11

Baylor2019

Record 37-1 ⋅ Coach Kim Mulkey

How they got here →

11

11 Baylor2019

Record 37-1 Coach Kim Mulkey Champ Yes

The combination of big 6-7 Kalani Brown and the long, versatile stretch four, Lauren Cox—now both in the WNBA—proved to be a matchup nightmare, while a variety of guards led by grad transfer Chloe Jackson punished defenses for spending too much time on the twin towers inside. Don’t be surprised if their legacy grows as we see what folks like NaLyssa Smith and DiDi Richards do at the next level.

Roster · Caitlin Bickle · Kalani Brown · Lauren Cox · Aquira DeCosta · Queen Egbo · Chloe Jackson · Juicy Landrum · Trinity Oliver · DiDi Richards · Honesty Scott-Grayson · NaLyssa Smith · Moon Ursin ·

Versatility Index: 94

↪ Back

10

Texas1986

Record 34-0 ⋅ Coach Jody Conradt

How they got here →

10

10 Texas1986

Record 34-0 Coach Jody Conradt Champ Yes

A culmination of three years of dominance, entering each of the 1984,1985 and 1986 NCAA Tournaments ranked first overall, the Longhorns finally broke through and won their title with a resounding 97-81 defeat of USC. This was no small feat—USC still featured Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper. But despite an array of injuries, including to star guard Kamie Etheridge, head coach Jody Conradt was able to lead her team to the title, then hold up a sign from a Texas fan that read, “Miller time is over, we want Lone Star.”

Roster · Clarissa Davis · Michele Eglinger · Kamie Ethridge · Wanda Gardner · Fran Harris · Gay Hemphill · CJ Jones · Andrea Lloyd · Paulette Moegle · Cara Priddy · Annette Smith · Audrey Smith · Beverly Williams · Yulonda Wimbish ·

Versatility Index: 88

↪ Back

9

Immaculata1974

Record 24-1 ⋅ Coach Cathy Rush

How they got here →

9

9 Immaculata1974

Record 24-1 Coach Cathy Rush Champ Yes

You can’t overstate how much Immaculata dominated the women’s game, with the 1974 team here by virtue of capturing its third straight AIAW crown, a 68-53 win over Mississippi College. But this group, coached by Hall of Famer Cathy Rush and run on the floor by, yes, that same Marianne Stanley who has defined much of women’s basketball history for nearly five decades, did more than just that. Immaculata went to six straight AIAW Final Fours. They played in the first nationally televised women’s game, at Cole Field House against Maryland, and crushed the Terrapins, 80-48.

Roster · Denise Conway · Marianne Crawford · Barb Euble · Tina Krah · Marie Liguori · Judy Marra · Patty Mulhern · Rene Muth · Mary Scharff · Theresa Shank · Janet Young ·

Versatility Index: 78

↪ Back

8

Notre Dame2018

Record 35–3 ⋅ Coach Muffet McGraw

How they got here →

8

8 Notre Dame2018

Record 35–3 Coach Muffet McGraw Champ Yes

This is another group that will grow in stature as the years go on, similar to the 2016 UConn team. The Irish finished 35-3, 15-1 in the ACC, and managed to win a national title in the most exciting way possible: buzzer-beaters from Arike Ogunbowale, first in the national semis over UConn, then again to beat an elite Mississippi State team featuring Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians in the final.

Roster · Nicole Benz · Maureen Butler · Kaitlin Cole · Mychal Johnson · Marina Mabrey · Kristina Nelson · Arike Ogunbowale · Danielle Patterson · Jessica Shepard · Lili Thompson · Brianna Turner · Mikayla Vaughn · Kathryn Westbeld · Jackie Young ·

Versatility Index: 94

↪ Back

7

UCLA1978

Record 27-3 ⋅ Coach Billie Moore

How they got here →

7

7 UCLA1978

Record 27-3 Coach Billie Moore Champ Yes

There is no Diana Taurasi without Ann Meyers Drysdale, a woman of firsts who dominated at every level she played. And for four years under head coach Billie Moore, Meyers did it all, scoring in bunches, rebounding like a big despite standing just 5-9. She posted the only quadruple-double in women’s basketball history. Ann recently asked a question on a Zoom for Diana when she returned to the Mercury. “I see you,” Taurasi began in response to Meyers. More people should.

Roster · Tam Brackenridge · Denise Corlett · Denise Curry · Ann Meyers · Janet Hopkins · Dianne Frierson · Beth Moore · Heidi Nestor · Debbie Willie ·

Versatility Index: 90

↪ Back

6

USC1984

Record 29-4 ⋅ Coach Linda Sharp

How they got here →

6

6 USC1984

Record 29-4 Coach Linda Sharp Champ Yes

The hard part, when thinking about these champions—they repeated in ’84—is understanding how they ever lost. This team’s engine was Cheryl Miller, generally understood to be the superior ballplayer to her kid brother Reggie, a Hall of Famer in his own right. Had there been a WNBA, she’d have been on a SLAM cover and then picked first overall when she graduated. Add Pam McGee and Cynthia Cooper, and you wonder, how’d they ever lose again?

Roster · Amy Alkek · JaMaiia Bond · Donna Carter · Cynthia Cooper · Yolanda Fletcher · Tracy Longo · Pam McGee · Paula McGee · Cheryl Miller · Juliette Robinson · LeeAnne Sera · Melissa Ward · Rhonda Windham ·

Versatility Index: 97

↪ Back

5

Baylor2012

Record 40-0 ⋅ Coach Kim Mulkey

How they got here →

5

5 Baylor2012

Record 40-0 Coach Kim Mulkey Champ Yes

This is going to be a Brittney Griner appreciation section. In the same way that Anne Donovan changed the way the game was played three decades earlier, that’s what Griner did when she arrived in Waco for Kim Mulkey. She averaged 23.2 points per game, 9.5 rebounds, 5.2 blocks. There simply wasn’t any game plan that could make up for her ability, at 6-8, to alter shots, to finish at the rim, to use her array of post moves. Her teammate Odyssey Sims hit 39.9 percent of her threes, got to the rim regularly, and was a menace at the defensive end in the Mulkey guard tradition.

Roster · Sune Agbuke · Mariah Chandler · Terran Condrey · Ashley Field · Brittney Griner · Kimetria Hayden · Jordan Madden · Lindsay Palmer · Brooklyn Pope · Makenzie Robertson · Odyssey Sims · Shanay Washington · Destiny Williams ·

Versatility Index: 98

↪ Back

4

UConn2002

Record 39-0 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

4

4 UConn2002

Record 39-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

This is the other UConn team that gets brought up as the best ever, and there’s a lot of merit to the idea. It starts with the backcourt of Sue Bird—the best point guard in the history of the game—and Diana Taurasi—the best shooting guard. They shared a backcourt here (and ever since, on USA Basketball Gold medal-winning teams). But don’t forget Swin Cash, Ashja Jones or Tamika Williams. There’s a reason they never lost.

Roster · Ashley Battle · Sue Bird · Swin Cash · Maria Conlon · Asjha Jones · Stacey Marron · Jessica Moore · Diana Taurasi · Ashley Valley · Morgan Valley · Tamika Williams ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

3

Old Dominion1980

Record 37-1 ⋅ Coach Marianne Stanley

How they got here →

3

3 Old Dominion1980

Record 37-1 Coach Marianne Stanley

It’s hard to express exactly how dominant Anne Donovan was, but it dates back to high school, at Paramus Catholic in New Jersey. Who guards her, if these top teams face off? UConn’s 2016 squad could throw Stewart at her, but that leaves 6-5 Inge Nissen, who led ODU in points and rebounds early in her All-American career. And they both played in the same lineup as perhaps the greatest player the game has ever seen, Nancy Lieberman. It is a crime that we didn’t get to enjoy Nancy Lieberman’s peak as a basketball player in a televised, regular league.

Roster · Sue Brown · Angela Crotman · Chris Critelli · Anne Donovan · Linda Jerome · Noreen Kemether · Nancy Lieberman · Inge Nissen · Susan Richardson · Rhonda Rompola · Peggy Smith · Jan Trombly · Beth Wilkerson ·

Versatility Index: 93

↪ Back

2

Tennessee1998

Record 39–0 ⋅ Coach Pat Summitt

How they got here →

2

2 Tennessee1998

Record 39–0 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

This was somehow the best of the Pat Summitt teams, and there were, let’s just say, many great Pat Summitt teams. Tamika Catchings and Chamique Holdsclaw and Semeka Randall and…you get the idea…they began No. 1 overall and were never seriously challenged. They played No. 2 Louisiana Tech and won by double digits. They played No. 3 UConn and won by 15. They played Pat Summitt defense and had so many offensive weapons. They could easily be considered No. 1.

Roster · Niya Butts · Tamika Catchings · Kristen Clement · Kyra Elzy · Teresa Geter · Misty Greene · Chamique Holdsclaw · Kellie Jolly · Brynae Laxton · Laurie Milligan · Semeka Randall · LaShoda Stephens ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

1

UConn2016

Record 38-0 ⋅ Coach Geno Auriemma

How they got here →

1

1 UConn2016

Record 38-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

It starts with Breanna Stewart, and you can’t really argue there’s ever been a better college player. You just can’t. Four seasons, four titles, four Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four awards. And she wasn’t alone: Moriah Jefferson, Morgan Tuck, Napheesa Collier, Gabby Williams, Kia Nurse, Saniya Chong, Natalie Butler…they had waves of talent to throw at you. It never stopped.

Roster · Natalie Butler · Saniya Chong · Napheesa Collier · Courtney Ekmark · Moriah Jefferson · Tierney Lawlor · Kia Nurse · Briana Pulido · Katie Lou Samuelson · Breanna Stewart · Morgan Tuck · Gabby Williams ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

50

50 Tennessee1987

Record 28–6 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Yes, this was Pat Summitt’s first championship, but it didn’t have the hallmark dominance or reputation that she would be known for later. Tennessee was actually ranked seventh in the country, underdog in each of its final three wins to capture the national title, capping it with a 67-44 win over Louisiana Tech. Tonya Edwards earned Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. And Summitt, at the postgame, said it simply: “I’m a dreamer, and I’m also a believer.” She never looked back.

Roster · Tonya Edwards · Sheila Frost · Bridgette Gordon · Karla Horton · Cheryl Littlejohn · Dawn Marsh · Melissa McCray · Carla McGhee · Sabrina Mott · Shelley Sexton · Kathy Spinks · Gay Townson · Jennifer Tuggle · Lisa Webb ·

Versatility Index: 65

↪ Back

49

49 UConn2004

Record 31-4 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

A year later, it happened again. It’s about as simple as Geno Auriemma’s explanation, after a 70-61 win over Tennessee in yet another title matchup between the schools: “We have Diana Taurasi and you don’t.”

Roster · Ashley Battle · Maria Conlon · Willnett Crockett · Stacey Marron · Jessica Moore · Ann Strother · Diana Taurasi · Barbara Turner · Ashley Valley · Morgan Valley · Nicole Wolff ·

Versatility Index: 90

↪ Back

48

48 Tennessee1989

Record 35–2 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Pat Summit’s star this time was Bridgette Gordon, who scored 24 in the semifinal win over Maryland, then 27 to help beat Auburn and the great Vickie Orr, 76-60. Dena Head added 15 in the win, capping a title run despite the loss of Tonya Edwards earlier in the season to a knee injury. Just the same, Auburn coach Joe Ciampi put it about the Lady Vols, “That is a Who’s Who roster.”

Roster · Kelli Casteel · Daedra Charles · Regina Clark · Kris Durham · Tonya Edwards · Sheila Frost · Bridgette Gordon · Debbie Hawhee · Dena Head · Melissa McCray · Carla McGhee · Pearl Moore · Debbie Scott ·

Versatility Index: 71

↪ Back

47

47 UConn2003

Record 37-1 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

This is a team that lost four starters from the 2002 group near the top of this list, but they made it all the way back to the top on the back of the one starter who remained: Diana Taurasi. She scored 28 points in a 73-68 win over Tennessee in the title game, simply unwilling to let her team lose.

Roster · Ashley Battle · Maria Conlon · Willnett Crockett · Stacey Marron · Jessica Moore · Ann Strother · Diana Taurasi · Barbara Turner · Ashley Valley · Morgan Valley · Nicole Wolff ·

Versatility Index: 91

↪ Back

46

46 Tennessee1996

Record 32–4 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Revenge is a dish best served at the Charlotte Coliseum, where Tennessee and Michelle Marciniak, the future WNBA point guard, won Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. They took down UConn and Nykesha Sales, 88-83, in a semifinal thriller, then outlasted Georgia and all-world guard Saudia Roundtree, 83-65, in another textbook defensive effort. UConn staked a claim in 1995. Tennessee countered, letting the Huskies know they weren’t going anywhere.

Roster · Abby Conklin · Latina Davis · Misty Greene · Chamique Holdsclaw · Tiffani Johnson · Kellie Jolly · Brynae Laxton · Michelle Marciniak · Laurie Milligan · Kim Smallwood · Pashen Thompson ·

Versatility Index: 72

↪ Back

45

45 UConn2013

Record 35-4 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

Baby Stewie! This was the one that set the prophecy in motion. This was the one where Breanna Stewart, the top-rated player in the country and generally understood program-changer, who struggled for a bit during her freshman season, briefly providing basically the only proof she might be human during her entire college or pro career, led UConn to a 93-60 title game win over Louisville. She declared she’d like three more just like that one, and then she got them.

Roster · Brianna Banks · Heather Buck · Stefanie Dolson · Caroline Doty · Kelly Faris · Bria Hartley · Moriah Jefferson • Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis · Breanna Stewart · Kiah Stokes · Morgan Tuck ·

Versatility Index: 92

↪ Back

44

44 Old Dominion1985

Record 31-3 Coach Marianne Stanley Champ Yes

Hey, shocker! Here’s Marianne Stanley again on this list. This time, she had a pair of bigs who dominated the boards, 6-2 Tracy Claxton and 6-3 Medina Dixon. The formula was the same, and it stayed true to form right through the end, Claxton grabbing 20 rebounds and Dixon getting 15 in the title game win over Katrina McClain and Teresa Edwards’ Georgia team.

Roster · Joann Beaty · Lisa Blais · Marie Christian · Tracy Claxton · Liz Conahan · Dawn Cullen · Medina Dixon · Adrienne Goodson · Bridget Jenkins · Alphelia Jenkins · Donna Harrington ·

Versatility Index: 74

↪ Back

43

43 USC1983

Record 31-2 Coach Linda Sharp Champ Yes

It’s funny to see this team here, but they did, after all, only have freshman Cheryl Miller, a younger Cynthia Cooper, you know—less than the players they’d become for USC teams higher on this list. Even so, it was enough to beat Jennifer White’s Louisiana Tech team, with Miller scoring 27 points and playing all 40 minutes in the title game. She was 18 years old at the time. Kim Mulkey had 11 assists in defeat.

Roster · JaMaiia Bond · Cynthia Cooper · Kathy Doyle · Yolanda Fletcher · Tracy Longo · Pam McGee · Paula McGee • Cheryl Miller · Timi Pitzer · Juliette Robinson · LeAnne Sera · Shontel Sherwood · Melissa Ward · Rhonda Windham ·

Versatility Index: 99

↪ Back

42

42 Tennessee2007

Record 34–3 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Another Candace Parker-centric Tennessee title team, this time a winner over C. Vivian Stringer’s Rutgers squad, 59-46, in the title game, no easy task with Kia Vaughn patrolling the middle. But the Lady Vols ended Summitt’s nine-year championship-less streak, a thing that only seems surprising because we’re talking about Pat Summitt. Parker scored 17 in the championship game.

Roster · Nicky Anosike · Alberta Auguste · Shannon Bobbitt · Elizabeth Curry · Alex Fuller · Alexis Hornbuckle · Cait McMahan · Nicci Moats · Candace Parker · Dominique Redding · Sidney Spencer ·

Versatility Index: 98

↪ Back

41

41 UConn2014

Record 40-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

Much of the greatness in the teams that followed was present here, from the sophomore trio of Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck to junior big Kiah Stokes. But so was Stefanie Dolson, the Port Jervis, NY, product, who combined an outsized personality with a versatile offensive game to become the face of these champions, 79-58 winners over Notre Dame in the title game.

Roster · Brianna Banks · Saniya Chong · Stefanie Dolson · Bria Hartley · Moriah Jefferson · Tierney Lawlor · Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis · Briana Pulido · Breanna Stewart · Kiah Stokes · Morgan Tuck ·

Versatility Index: 94

↪ Back

40

40 Louisana Tech1981

Record 34-0 Coach Sonja Hogg Champ Yes

No, this team didn’t feature Pam Gant, freshman sensation on the 1982 Lady Techsters who won the first NCAA women’s tournament, but they were pretty good, too: 34-0, ran through the AIAW tournament, and crushed Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols, 79-59, in the title game. A young point guard named Kim Mulkey ran the show. Jennifer White was unstoppable. They could play with anyone.

Roster · Lyn Anastasio · Pam Kelly · Janice Lawrence · Kim Mulkey · Ann Pendegrass · Debbie Primeaux · Debra Rodman · Rita Rust · Lori Scott · Tia Sossamon · Angela Turner · Julie Wilkerson · Jennifer White ·

Versatility Index: 95

↪ Back

39

39 Delta State1975

Record 28-0 Coach Margaret Wade Champ Yes

Yes, this should be about Delta State, who finally broke through and ended Immaculata’s run of three straight titles. But it’s worth noting how high Delta State needed to raise its game to get there. Lusia Harris had to score 32 points! Delta State had to shoot 64 percent from the field. And still, the game was tight late, before Delta State pulled away, 90-81. We were pretty close to four Immaculata teams on this list.

Roster · Debbie Brock · Donna Conner · Dianne Dove · Angel Fortenberry · Mandy Fortenberry · Wanda Hairston · Lucy Harris · Ann Logue · Mary Logue · Laura Beth Penn · Pam Piazza · Melissa Thames · Beth Trussell · Ramona Von Boeckman · Mimi Williams ·

Versatility Index: 70

↪ Back

38

38 Tennessee1991

Record 30–5 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

A title that included a final game with everything you could ask for, from a battle of stars—Dena Head of Tennessee scored 28 to match Virginia’s exemplar guard, Dawn Staley, who had 28 of her own—and a late-game comeback that saw a Pat Summitt team find another level offensively and execute in key spots to secure a game that went into overtime. “This one is sweet because of this team and its attitude,” Summit said when it was over.

Roster · Jody Adams · Regina Clark · Dena Head · Marlene Jeter · Peggy Evans · Lisa Harrison · Daedra Charles · Nikki Caldwell · Kelli Casteel · Tamara Carver · Debbie Hawhee ·

Versatility Index: 62

↪ Back

37

37 Stanford1992

Record 30-3 Coach Tara VanDerveer Champ Yes

Somehow, this was the last Tara VanDerveer national championship team, though Tara’s won plenty of other games since and has been a fixture atop the Pac-12 and in the Final Four. But a Cardinal team with Rachel Hemmer—6-3 freshman who scored 18 points and grabbed 15 boards—defeated Western Kentucky in the national final, 78-62. When it was over, Tara got a Gatorade shower from her players.

Roster · Ann Adkins · Kelly Dougherty · Molly Goodenbour · Christy Hedgpeth · Rachel Hemmer · Anita Kaplan · Bobbie Kelsey · Chris MacMurdo · Kate Paye · Tanda Rucker · Niki Sevillian · Angela Taylor · Val Whiting ·

Versatility Index: 64

↪ Back

36

36 Immaculata1972

Record 24-1 Coach Cathy Rush Champ Yes

Where it all began. The first champion in the AIAW tournament beat West Chester State, 52-48. Theresa Shank, Immaculata’s center, led the way in the first of her three first-team All-America seasons. You probably know her better as Theresa Grentz, the woman who’d go on to earn 671 victories coaching St. Joe’s, Rutgers, Illinois and Lafayette.

Roster · Denise Conway · Sue Forsyth · Betty Ann Hoffman · Judy Marra · Maureen Mooney · Rene Muth · Pat Opila · Janet Ruch · Theresa Shank · Maureen Stuhlman · Janet Young ·

Versatility Index: 71

↪ Back

35

35 Texas A&M2011

Record 33–5 Coach Gary Blair Champ Yes

The story of this Aggies team will forever be Gary Blair’s defense, designed by his assistant and future coaching superstar Vic Schaefer and run by floor general Syd Colson. But let’s talk for a minute about Danielle Adams, who is unlike anyone we’ve ever seen in the sport. Just 6-1 at center, wide-bodied and skilled, Adams scored 22 of her 30 points in the national championship in the second half, overcoming a Notre Dame team powered by Skylar Diggins and Dev Peters, future WNBA stars both. This was not a team enough people remember.

Roster · Danielle Adams · Kelsey Assarian · Maryann Baker · Kristi Bellock · Kelsey Bone · Sydney Carter · Skylar Collins · Sydney Colson · Adaora Elonu · Karla Gilbert · Kristen Grant · Adrienne Pratcher · Catherine Snow · Tyra White · Cierra Windham ·

Versatility Index: 77

↪ Back

34

34 UConn2010

Record 39-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

Tina Charles’ final game with UConn almost went disastrously, the Huskies trailing Nneka Ogwumike’s Stanford team in the first half, a second straight unbeaten season on the line. But back before she was raining justice down on our broken system, Maya Moore got victories in a different court, and this was no different, scoring 23 and grabbing 11 boards in the Alamodome to make sure her team won back-to-back titles.

Roster · Heather Buck · Tina Charles · Lorin Dixon · Caroline Doty · Kelly Faris · Jacquie Fernandes · Meghan Gardler · Kalana Greene · Tiffany Hayes · Kaili McLaren · Maya Moore ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

33

33 Purdue1999

Record 34-1 Coach Carolyn Peck Champ Yes

Third was an elite team, with Stephanie White and Katie Douglas. But this one belongs to Carolyn Peck. When the Boilermakers won the final in ’99, not only did they make school history by winning their first title, Peck herself made history as the first Black head coach to win a women’s NCAA championship. She cut down the net. She gave a piece of it, years later, to Dawn Staley. And when Dawn won with South Carolina in 2017, that net was in her pocket, and she took it out and showed it to us in the media postgame.

Roster · Danielle Campbell · Camille Cooper · Candi CrawforD · Mackenzie Curless · Katie Douglas · Michelle Duhart · Ukari Figgs · Kelly Komara · Mo-nique Langston · Connie Murdock · Mary Jo Noon · Shayla Potter · Amy Shaffer · Stephanie White · Tiffany Young ·

Versatility Index: 91

↪ Back

32

32 Tennessee1997

Record 29–10 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

It’s funny to think of a Pat Summitt-Tennessee team as underachieving, but this one probably was for most of the year. Despite Chamique Holdsclaw leading the scoring charge and Kellie Jolly running point, they lost two straight to Georgia and Stanford in December, then two straight to UConn and ODU in January. But by March, Summitt had them rolling, and in the final, the Lady Vols avenged the ODU loss, with Jolly racking up 11 assists and Holdsclaw scoring 24. It all worked out OK.

Roster · Niya Butts · Abby Conklin · Kyra Elzy · Misty Greene · Chamique Holdsclaw · Tiffani Johnson · Kellie Jolly · Brynae Laxton · Laurie Milligan · LaShonda Stephens · Pashen Thompson ·

Versatility Index: 68

↪ Back

31

31 Delta State1976

Record 33-1 Coach Margaret Wade Champ Yes

Again, Lusia Harris was a dominant force, averaging 31.2 points per game this season, and Delta State managed to beat an Immaculata team that was very much a power. But let’s not forget about folks like Wanda Hairston, team captain and rebounder extraordinaire, and point guard Ramona Von Boeckman, the team’s assist leader. Oh, did we mention Debbie Brock was only 4-11?

Roster · Lynn Adubato · Debbie Brock · Jackie Caston · Judy Davis · Janie Evans · Tish Fahey · Mandy Fortenberry · SheriHaynes · Wanda Hairston · Lusia Harris · Kathy Lewis · Mary Logue · Pam Piazza · Virginia Shackelford · Cornelia Ward · Ramona Von Boeckman ·

Versatility Index: 72

↪ Back

30

30 UConn2009

Record 39-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

A perfect season was capped by destroying Louisville, 76-54, despite all-world Angel McCoughtry’s presence on the Cardinals. That’s what happens when you have Tina Charles, who scored 25 in the final on 13 shot attempts, along with senior guard Renee Montgomery and forward Maya Moore, the former a future standout in the WNBA, the latter the circuit’s defining star for much of the ensuing decade.

Roster · Heather Buck · Tina Charles · Lorin Dixon · Caroline Doty · Jacquie Fernandes · Meghan Gardler · Kalana Greene · Tiffany Hayes · Cassie Kerns · Jessica McCormack · Kaili McLaren · Maya Moore · Renee Montgomery · Tahirah Williams ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

29

29 Immaculata1973

Record 20-0 Coach Cathy Rush Champ Yes

This was Cathy Rush’s second straight title-winning team, and they did it with style: a 20-0 season, the first women’s undefeated team, capped by beating Queens College in Queens, 59-52, to capture the AIAW title. Rush, we should note, earned $450 a season to coach Immaculata and put women’s basketball on its path to glory today. Here’s hoping her point guard, Marianne Stanley, makes a lot more than that coaching the Indiana Fever today.

Roster · Denise Conway · Marianne Crawford · Betty Ann Hoffman · Nancy Johnston · Judy Marra · Maureen Mooney · Rene Muth · Janet Ruch · Theresa Shank · Maureen Stulhman · Janet Young ·

Versatility Index: 76

↪ Back

28

28 UConn2000

Record 36-1 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

A title capped one of the finest seasons anyone could ever remember, including three, yes three, UConn-Tennessee matchups. The Lady Vols won in Storrs after the Huskies won in Knoxville, and the rubber match in the national title game went to UConn, 71-52, behind a Kelly Schumacher-powered defensive shutdown, 15 points from Shea Ralph and a limiting of national Player of the Year Tamika Catchings to just 16 points.

Roster · Svetlana Abrosimova · Sue Bird · Swin Cash · Marci Czel · Stacy Hansmeyer · Kennitra Johnson · Asjha Jones · Shea Ralph · Christine Rigby · Paige Sauer · Kelly Schumacher · Keirsten Walters · Tamika Williams ·

Versatility Index: 99

↪ Back

27

27 Old Dominion1979

Record 35-1 Coach Marianne Stanley Champ Yes

No, this team didn’t have Anne Donovan yet, but they were still pretty good! ODU finished 35-1 by beating a Louisiana Tech team that had scored 102 points against a Pat Summitt defense in the AIAW semifinals. ODU, powered by Nancy Lieberman and Inge Nissen, prevailed and avenged a December loss. So for those of you keeping score at home, Marianne Stanley’s team was already great, then added a once-in-a-generation player in Anne Donovan. Such was the greatness of Nancy Lieberman.

Roster · Sue Brown · Sandy Burke · Beth Campbell · Fran Clemente · Angela Cotman · Chris Critelli · Sue Davy · Linda Jerome · Nancy Lieberman · Inge Nissen · Debbie Richard · Susan Richardson · Rhonda Rompola · Jan Trombly ·

Versatility Index: 65

↪ Back

26

26 UConn2015

Record 38-1 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

The only time this group was seriously challenged was in the 2015 title game. Notre Dame kept it close but the Huskies won, 63-53. This was a similar but not identical team to the ’16 group at the top of our list. The constant? Breanna Stewart, naturally.

Roster · Natalie Butler · Saniya Chong · Courtney Ekmark · Moriah Jefferson · Tierney Lawlor · Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis · Kia Nurse · Briana Pulido · Breanna Stewart · Kiah Stokes · Morgan Tuck · Gabby Williams ·

Versatility Index: 95

↪ Back

25

25 Baylor2005

Record 33–3 Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson Champ Yes

The breakthrough title for Baylor, Kim Mulkey-Robertson’s first as head coach, came thanks in large part to the greatness of Sophia Young, a next-generation wing who scored 26 points in the title game, an 84-62 thumping of Joanne McCallie’s Michigan State team. But in true Mulkey fashion, that dominance manifested itself most on the boards, a 45-22 edge, and a forerunner of the Baylor teams we’ve seen since.

Roster · Tiffanie Blackmon · Steffanie Blackmon · Jordan Davis · Chanelle Fox · Melanie Hamerly · Monique Jones · Victoria Jones · Emily Niemann · Chisa Ononiwu · Chameka Scott · Angela Tisdale · Abiola Wabara · Chelsea Whitaker · LaToya Wyatt · Sophia Young ·

Versatility Index: 73

↪ Back

24

24 Tennessee2008

Record 36–2 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

Pat Summit’s eighth and final Lady Vols championship came on the back of Candace Parker, the ultimate Tennessee player. Parker played through an injured left shoulder but was unstoppable in a rout of Stanford, 64-48, scoring 17 and grabbing 9 rebounds. She’d win Rookie of the Year and MVP honors later that year in her first WNBA season. The Lady Vols playing trademark Summitt defense to the end.

Roster · Nicky Anosike · Alberta Auguste · Vicki Baugh · Angie Bjorklund · Shannon Bobbitt · Kelley Cain · Alex Fuller · Alexis Hornbuckle · Cait McMahan · Candace Parker · Sydney Smallbone ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

23

23 Louisiana Tech1982

Record 35-1 Coach Sonja Hogg Champ Yes

In this first women’s NCAA title game, C. Vivian Stringer’s Cheyney State couldn’t match up with the Lady Techsters, and no wonder. Louisiana Tech’s point guard was a dynamo named Kim Mulkey, who has gone on to the top of the sport as Baylor coach to this day. And the team’s engine was a powerhouse rebounder named Debra Rodman, who possessed a similar, if not more refined game, than the one that turned her little brother Dennis into an NBA stalwart.

Roster · Sandra Felton · Pam Gant · Pam Kelly · Janice Lawrence · Kim Mulkey · Ann Pendergrass · Debbie Primeaux · Debra Rodman · Rita Rust · Lori Scott · Tia Sossamon · Angela Turner · Julie Wilkerson · Jennifer White ·

Versatility Index: 80

↪ Back

22

22 North Carolina1994

Record 32-2 Coach Sylvia Hatchell Champ Yes

Charlotte Smith. That’s a name that will be etched into history, not just because she went on to a distinguished professional career, then into coaching, currently in charge at Elon. It’s because the ball found Smith in the final second of the title game against Louisiana Tech, and Smith knocked down a 20-footer to give the Tar Heels the victory. Number 23—for her mom, not Michael Jordan—came through with one of the biggest shots in the history of the sport.

Roster · Tonya Cooper · Sylvia Crawley · Lori Gear · Gwendolyn Gillingham · Marion Jones · Tonya Jackson · Marion Jones · Stephanie Lawrence · Carrie McKee · Kim Rouse · Tonya Sampson · Charlotte Smith · Jill Suddreth · Maja Vukojicic ·

Versatility Index: 70

↪ Back

21

21 Stanford1990

Record 32-1 Coach Tara VanDerveer Champ Yes

The climb was quick for Tara VanDerveer. She took her program to the Sweet 16 in her third season, the Elite Eight in her fourth, and in her fifth, to her first national title, beating Dawn Staley’s Virginia in the semifinals and then toppling Auburn in the final, 88-81. This Cardinal team featured possibly the greatest player in program history, Jennifer Azzi, who scored 17 in the final and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Roster · Jennifer Azzi · Molly Goodenbour · Sonja Henning · Celeste Lavoie · Chris MacMurdo · Stacy Parson · Martha Richards · Katy Steding · Trisha Stevens · Tammy Svoboda · Val Whiting · Julie Zeilstra ·

Versatility Index: 72

↪ Back

20

20 Maryland2006

Record 34-4 Coach Brenda Frese

Here’s what Brenda Frese does: she recruits elite playmakers to College Park, she empowers them early on—no paying of dues necessary, if you can play, you play—and she lets them take powerful roles and lead Maryland to glory. In 2006, that was Kristi Toliver, who hit a three at the end of regulation in the title game against Duke; it’s known in Maryland as “The Shot.”

Roster · Charmaine Carr · Marissa Coleman · Shay Doron · Kalika France · Laura Harper · Crystal Langhorne · Christie Marrone · Ashleigh Newman · Aurelie Noirez · Jade Perry · Angel Ross · Kristi Toliver · Sa’De Wiley-Gatewood ·

Versatility Index: 89

↪ Back

19

19 Notre Dame2001

Record 34-2 Coach Muffet McGraw Champ Yes

The bookend to her 2018 team, Muffet McGraw won her first title in 2001 with a similar combination of grit and stacked talent, complete with a late comeback. Indiana native Ruth Riley stayed home, powered the Irish attack inside and hit the game-winning free throws in the 68-66 national final win over fellow in-state school Purdue. She was joined in the starting lineup by point guard Niele Ivey and shooter extraordinare Alicia Ratay.

Roster · Amanda Barksdale · Imani Dunbar · Ericka Haney · Monique Hernandez · Niele Ivey · Jeneka Joyce · Meaghan Leahy · Alicia Ratay · Ruth Riley · Le’Tania Severe · Kelley Siemon · Karen Swanson ·

Versatility Index: 79

↪ Back

18

18 Louisiana Tech1988

Record 32-2 Coach Leon Barmore Champ Yes

A champion led by a transcendent floor general, the Lady Techsters beat Auburn, 56-54, in an extremely Teresa Weatherspoon game. She was a scorer and a distributor, for sure, but her bread and butter was defense. She didn’t have to do it alone, either; Erica Westbrooks scored 25, adding 7 boards, 6 steals and 4 blocks, en route to winning Final Four MOP.

Roster · Tatia Brown · Melinda Chambless · Phoebe Dunn · Sheila Ethridge · Lisa Harvey · Venus Lacy · Angela Lawson · Nora Lewis · Beanie Lincoln · Terri Meyer · Paulette Stall · Jocelyn Watson · Teresa Weatherspoon · Erica Westbrooks ·

Versatility Index: 83

↪ Back

17

17 Oregon2020

Record 31-2 Coach Kelly Graves

No, this team didn’t win an NCAA championship, but ask any of them, and they’ll tell you they are certain they would have. It’s hard to argue: Sabrina Ionescu came back to school because she wanted to win one. She was joined by Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally. They went to Storrs and crushed UConn. They would have had a No. 1 seed, and a path to the Final Four that didn’t take them out of the state of Oregon. Damn you, COVID.

Roster · Erin Boley · Taylor Chavez · Lucy Cochrane · Lydia Giomi · Ruthy Hebard · Sabrina Ionescu · Sedona Prince · Minyon Moore · Nyara Sabally · Satou Sabally · Jaz Shelley · Holly Winterburn · Morgan Yaeger ·

Versatility Index: 98

↪ Back

16

16 Rutgers1982

Record 25-7 Coach Theresa Grentz Champ Yes

This is another trailblazing team, both for what it accomplished—an 83-77 win over the favored Texas Longhorns at the Palestra—and how many of its players went on to define the game as coaches. Patty Coyle was the star of the final, scoring 30 in the title game, while June Olkowski was unstoppable. But the coach, Theresa Grentz, is familiar—she played on the great Immaculata teams a decade earlier. And the rough-and-tumble forward, Chris Dailey, has been Geno’s top assistant at UConn for decades.

Roster · Krystal Canady · Mary Coyle · Patty Coyle · Chris Dailey · Patty Delehanty · Terry Dorner · Carol Glutz • Jennie Hall · Lorrie Lawrence · Mary Patricia Nespoli · June Olkowski · Debbie Paladino · Cynthia Powell ·

Versatility Index: 68

↪ Back

15

15 South Carolina2017

Record 33-4 Coach Dawn Stalely Champ Yes

In the lead-up to the tournament, the Gamecocks lost one of their two bigs, future WNBA lottery pick Alaina Coates, to injury. On the fly, coach Dawn Staley had to reconfigure her team’s offense. It helped that she had A’ja Wilson. But this South Carolina team found another gear from beyond the arc, exuded the Bronx toughness of its point guard Bianca Cuevas-Moore, and beat a Mississippi State team that had just ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak in the title game.

Roster · Araion Bradshaw · Doniyah Cliney · Alaina Coates · Bianca Cuevas-Moore · Kaela Davis · Tiffany Davis · Allisha Gray · Mikiah Herbert Harrigan · Tyasha Harris · Alexis Jennings · Victoria Patrick · A’ja Wilson ·

Versatility Index: 93

↪ Back

14

14 UConn1995

Record 35-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

This is where it all began, the team that set the UConn standard, for winning (35-0), for capturing the attention of a nation, for maximizing the talent on hand. Geno Auriemma won the first of his 11 titles here, and he had his star, the 6-4 Rebecca Lobo in the middle, with Jen Rizzotti making key plays in the backcourt and Jamelle Elliott serving as defensive stopper.

Roster · Carla Berube · Kim Better · Jamelle Elliott · Jill Gelfenbien · Kelley Hunt · Rebecca Lobo · Brenda Marquis · Sara Northway · Jennifer Rizzotti · Missy Rose · Nykesha Sales · Pam Webber · Kara Wolters ·

Versatility Index: 87

↪ Back

13

13 Texas Tech1993

Record 31–3 Coach Marsha Sharp Champ Yes

This is simple: Sheryl Swoopes. Before she was a WNBA icon, she was the reason Texas Tech were NCAA champions. They faced a heavily favored Ohio State team, powered by future WNBA legend Katie Smith, who scored 28 in the championship game. Didn’t matter. Swoopes scored 47. 47! Texas Tech won by 2. When it was over, Ohio State coach Nancy Darsch put it this way: “You don’t really appreciate Sheryl Swoopes until you try and stop her.”

Roster · Michi Atkins · Cynthia Clinger · Janice Farris · Nikki Heath · Noel Johnson · Diana Kersey · Krista Kirkland · Kim Pruitt · Stephanie Scott · Sheryl Swoopes · Michelle Thomas · Melinda White ·

Versatility Index: 81

↪ Back

12

12 Delta State1977

Record 32-3 Coach Margaret Wade Champ Yes

Margaret Wade’s juggernaut took over, winning AIAW national titles in 1975, 1976 and 1977, powered by the immovable Lusia Harris, a 6-3 wonder up front, and the orchestration of point guard Debbie Brock. Harris is in the Naismith Hall of Fame now, and even got drafted by the then-New Orleans Jazz, though she declined to try out on account of her pregnancy. Who knows what her professional career would have been if the WNBA had come along a few decades earlier.

Roster · Lynn Adubato · Debbie Brock · Jackie Caston · Janie Evans · Tish Fahey · Wanda Hairston · Lauri Anne Harper · Lusia Harris · Jill Rhodes · Ramona Von Boeckman · Cornelia Ward · Melissa Ward ·

Versatility Index: 76

↪ Back

11

11 Baylor2019

Record 37-1 Coach Kim Mulkey Champ Yes

The combination of big 6-7 Kalani Brown and the long, versatile stretch four, Lauren Cox—now both in the WNBA—proved to be a matchup nightmare, while a variety of guards led by grad transfer Chloe Jackson punished defenses for spending too much time on the twin towers inside. Don’t be surprised if their legacy grows as we see what folks like NaLyssa Smith and DiDi Richards do at the next level.

Roster · Caitlin Bickle · Kalani Brown · Lauren Cox · Aquira DeCosta · Queen Egbo · Chloe Jackson · Juicy Landrum · Trinity Oliver · DiDi Richards · Honesty Scott-Grayson · NaLyssa Smith · Moon Ursin ·

Versatility Index: 94

↪ Back

10

10 Texas1986

Record 34-0 Coach Jody Conradt Champ Yes

A culmination of three years of dominance, entering each of the 1984,1985 and 1986 NCAA Tournaments ranked first overall, the Longhorns finally broke through and won their title with a resounding 97-81 defeat of USC. This was no small feat—USC still featured Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper. But despite an array of injuries, including to star guard Kamie Etheridge, head coach Jody Conradt was able to lead her team to the title, then hold up a sign from a Texas fan that read, “Miller time is over, we want Lone Star.”

Roster · Clarissa Davis · Michele Eglinger · Kamie Ethridge · Wanda Gardner · Fran Harris · Gay Hemphill · CJ Jones · Andrea Lloyd · Paulette Moegle · Cara Priddy · Annette Smith · Audrey Smith · Beverly Williams · Yulonda Wimbish ·

Versatility Index: 88

↪ Back

9

9 Immaculata1974

Record 24-1 Coach Cathy Rush Champ Yes

You can’t overstate how much Immaculata dominated the women’s game, with the 1974 team here by virtue of capturing its third straight AIAW crown, a 68-53 win over Mississippi College. But this group, coached by Hall of Famer Cathy Rush and run on the floor by, yes, that same Marianne Stanley who has defined much of women’s basketball history for nearly five decades, did more than just that. Immaculata went to six straight AIAW Final Fours. They played in the first nationally televised women’s game, at Cole Field House against Maryland, and crushed the Terrapins, 80-48.

Roster · Denise Conway · Marianne Crawford · Barb Euble · Tina Krah · Marie Liguori · Judy Marra · Patty Mulhern · Rene Muth · Mary Scharff · Theresa Shank · Janet Young ·

Versatility Index: 78

↪ Back

8

8 Notre Dame2018

Record 35–3 Coach Muffet McGraw Champ Yes

This is another group that will grow in stature as the years go on, similar to the 2016 UConn team. The Irish finished 35-3, 15-1 in the ACC, and managed to win a national title in the most exciting way possible: buzzer-beaters from Arike Ogunbowale, first in the national semis over UConn, then again to beat an elite Mississippi State team featuring Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians in the final.

Roster · Nicole Benz · Maureen Butler · Kaitlin Cole · Mychal Johnson · Marina Mabrey · Kristina Nelson · Arike Ogunbowale · Danielle Patterson · Jessica Shepard · Lili Thompson · Brianna Turner · Mikayla Vaughn · Kathryn Westbeld · Jackie Young ·

Versatility Index: 94

↪ Back

7

7 UCLA1978

Record 27-3 Coach Billie Moore Champ Yes

There is no Diana Taurasi without Ann Meyers Drysdale, a woman of firsts who dominated at every level she played. And for four years under head coach Billie Moore, Meyers did it all, scoring in bunches, rebounding like a big despite standing just 5-9. She posted the only quadruple-double in women’s basketball history. Ann recently asked a question on a Zoom for Diana when she returned to the Mercury. “I see you,” Taurasi began in response to Meyers. More people should.

Roster · Tam Brackenridge · Denise Corlett · Denise Curry · Ann Meyers · Janet Hopkins · Dianne Frierson · Beth Moore · Heidi Nestor · Debbie Willie ·

Versatility Index: 90

↪ Back

6

6 USC1984

Record 29-4 Coach Linda Sharp Champ Yes

The hard part, when thinking about these champions—they repeated in ’84—is understanding how they ever lost. This team’s engine was Cheryl Miller, generally understood to be the superior ballplayer to her kid brother Reggie, a Hall of Famer in his own right. Had there been a WNBA, she’d have been on a SLAM cover and then picked first overall when she graduated. Add Pam McGee and Cynthia Cooper, and you wonder, how’d they ever lose again?

Roster · Amy Alkek · JaMaiia Bond · Donna Carter · Cynthia Cooper · Yolanda Fletcher · Tracy Longo · Pam McGee · Paula McGee · Cheryl Miller · Juliette Robinson · LeeAnne Sera · Melissa Ward · Rhonda Windham ·

Versatility Index: 97

↪ Back

5

5 Baylor2012

Record 40-0 Coach Kim Mulkey Champ Yes

This is going to be a Brittney Griner appreciation section. In the same way that Anne Donovan changed the way the game was played three decades earlier, that’s what Griner did when she arrived in Waco for Kim Mulkey. She averaged 23.2 points per game, 9.5 rebounds, 5.2 blocks. There simply wasn’t any game plan that could make up for her ability, at 6-8, to alter shots, to finish at the rim, to use her array of post moves. Her teammate Odyssey Sims hit 39.9 percent of her threes, got to the rim regularly, and was a menace at the defensive end in the Mulkey guard tradition.

Roster · Sune Agbuke · Mariah Chandler · Terran Condrey · Ashley Field · Brittney Griner · Kimetria Hayden · Jordan Madden · Lindsay Palmer · Brooklyn Pope · Makenzie Robertson · Odyssey Sims · Shanay Washington · Destiny Williams ·

Versatility Index: 98

↪ Back

4

4 UConn2002

Record 39-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

This is the other UConn team that gets brought up as the best ever, and there’s a lot of merit to the idea. It starts with the backcourt of Sue Bird—the best point guard in the history of the game—and Diana Taurasi—the best shooting guard. They shared a backcourt here (and ever since, on USA Basketball Gold medal-winning teams). But don’t forget Swin Cash, Ashja Jones or Tamika Williams. There’s a reason they never lost.

Roster · Ashley Battle · Sue Bird · Swin Cash · Maria Conlon · Asjha Jones · Stacey Marron · Jessica Moore · Diana Taurasi · Ashley Valley · Morgan Valley · Tamika Williams ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

3

3 Old Dominion1980

Record 37-1 Coach Marianne Stanley

It’s hard to express exactly how dominant Anne Donovan was, but it dates back to high school, at Paramus Catholic in New Jersey. Who guards her, if these top teams face off? UConn’s 2016 squad could throw Stewart at her, but that leaves 6-5 Inge Nissen, who led ODU in points and rebounds early in her All-American career. And they both played in the same lineup as perhaps the greatest player the game has ever seen, Nancy Lieberman. It is a crime that we didn’t get to enjoy Nancy Lieberman’s peak as a basketball player in a televised, regular league.

Roster · Sue Brown · Angela Crotman · Chris Critelli · Anne Donovan · Linda Jerome · Noreen Kemether · Nancy Lieberman · Inge Nissen · Susan Richardson · Rhonda Rompola · Peggy Smith · Jan Trombly · Beth Wilkerson ·

Versatility Index: 93

↪ Back

2

2 Tennessee1998

Record 39–0 Coach Pat Summitt Champ Yes

This was somehow the best of the Pat Summitt teams, and there were, let’s just say, many great Pat Summitt teams. Tamika Catchings and Chamique Holdsclaw and Semeka Randall and…you get the idea…they began No. 1 overall and were never seriously challenged. They played No. 2 Louisiana Tech and won by double digits. They played No. 3 UConn and won by 15. They played Pat Summitt defense and had so many offensive weapons. They could easily be considered No. 1.

Roster · Niya Butts · Tamika Catchings · Kristen Clement · Kyra Elzy · Teresa Geter · Misty Greene · Chamique Holdsclaw · Kellie Jolly · Brynae Laxton · Laurie Milligan · Semeka Randall · LaShoda Stephens ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back

1

1 UConn2016

Record 38-0 Coach Geno Auriemma Champ Yes

It starts with Breanna Stewart, and you can’t really argue there’s ever been a better college player. You just can’t. Four seasons, four titles, four Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four awards. And she wasn’t alone: Moriah Jefferson, Morgan Tuck, Napheesa Collier, Gabby Williams, Kia Nurse, Saniya Chong, Natalie Butler…they had waves of talent to throw at you. It never stopped.

Roster · Natalie Butler · Saniya Chong · Napheesa Collier · Courtney Ekmark · Moriah Jefferson · Tierney Lawlor · Kia Nurse · Briana Pulido · Katie Lou Samuelson · Breanna Stewart · Morgan Tuck · Gabby Williams ·

Versatility Index: 100

↪ Back